Traveling Dog Lady: September 2016

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Night Owl or Morning Lark?

There's a whole world out there at 7:30 in the morning!

Yesterday, I finally had a new section of fence installed in the back yard.  The new fence is mainly to stop Charlie from his car-chasing obsession, which is entirely out-of-control.  Bad dog mama, I agree!  But the behavior is so ingrained, there's no stopping him, it is making us into the bad neighbors (in my mind, anyway).  So, I spent money on a new length of fence.   Of course, now I have several different kinds of fence around the property and nothing exactly matches.

Existing fence and gate in front of the tiny house, at sunset on the pond.

The fence also affords me the opportunity to have people stay at my "tiny house" without having to worry about the dogs bugging them, or getting out of an open gate.  The tiny house is a small dwelling in the back yard that has its own plumbing and electricity.  It was the original owner of my property's first home.  He and his family lived in the tiny house for many years, and then he built the larger house in the late 1950s.  The larger house is The Pink House, and it's where I do my blogging, so, now you can picture me there when you read this!

"Mom writes in the Pink House".
"I don't care, gimme that ball!"

So, what about 7:30 a.m.?  Since I have to let the cement harden for two or three days, I've had to take the dogs outside on-leash.  Yesterday morning, the fence was installed and the guys showed up at 7:30 so I had to get out of bed and talk to them.  I am usually awake early, but I like to lie in bed with the dogs and cuddle until around 9-ish.  Thankfully, I'm self-employed, and I work at home in the mornings, and go to my office at noon.  I am certainly not a normal person!

The Hobester, in my office, back in the day.

I've always worked "second shift" (noon - 8 pm or 1 pm - 9 pm).  As a result, I missed many popular TV series over the years, but also I don't get up early.  I usually let the dogs out, and then we go back to bed and "snooze".  We have a thing called "snooze time" which I've written about before.  I consider myself a definite night owl.  I used to stay up until 2 am, but I've toned that down recently, and generally go to bed around midnight.

Hector and me in my office at Passports educational travel. I used to take the dogs to work often.

This morning, I had to bring the dogs outside to relieve themselves, on-leash.  Normally, I just open the door and let them out.  But, I was given specific instructions not to let them bump up against the new fence for two or three days.

The tiny house, in winter.

Hobie in front of the tiny house, including one of the many different fence materials!

However, widowhood and the stress of this major life change has escalated my insomnia, so I often wake up at 3:00 and can't get back to sleep for two or more hours.  "Worrying".  A topic for a book, if you wanna know the truth!

So, this week, I'm going outside and facing the world at 7:30 with the dogs on-leash so they can relieve themselves.  What a world it is!

There's a lot of interesting things happening in the morning.  Neighbors!  I got to see and talk to neighbors!  Who knew?  The neighborhood children are meeting the bus at the end of the road, and other folks are walking their dogs.  So, THIS is what the dogs are always barking at in the morning.

I noticed that Charlie is getting much better at walking on-leash.  Not perfect, but certainly better.  He's growing up.  He's almost 5 now, and he has been my biggest dog challenge of all the dogs I've loved.  Charlie is finally getting "snuggly" and loving.  It took him all this time to trust me.  Of course, he still won't let me bathe him, clip his nails, or remove a tick!  We're working on it!  The walk this morning and yesterday was quite good, and it's getting both of us out there, seeing the world outside of the Pink House.

Hobie on his "perch" -- the top step at the Pink House.  Charlie has taken over Perch Duty.  Or is it Porch Duty?!

Maybe I'll keep getting up and taking Charlie on leash walks (like I used to do many years ago when Hobie was younger and we had no fence).

What about you, are you a morning lark, or a night owl?

Monday, September 19, 2016

A Fond Farewell to Eastham

I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity --- twice.  Years ago, G owned a house on Cape Cod on the National Seashore in the tiny village of Truro.  Through a series of life changes, he had to give up the house back in the early 1990s.  Not one to be deterred, I started saving our money towards a downpayment on a replacement New England coastal home shortly thereafter.

Selfie in front of G's old house in Truro

In February of 2005, we bought a small seasonal cottage on the National Seashore -- this time in Eastham, a good hour closer to home, but "the same beach" as before.  We enjoyed the house, and its special, unique, "prestigious" location for the next 10 years together.  The past year and a half, since G's passing, has been difficult for me on Cape Cod, both emotionally and financially.  On my birthday this past April,  I decided to sell the property.

Selfie in front of the Eastham cottage
The new owners moved in today.  I am very happy for them, and hope their family enjoys many years of fun and good times on the National Seashore.  We have John F. Kennedy to thank for establishing the Seashore as a National Park, and putting a moratorium on building new dwellings there.  The neighborhood is like stepping back in time to the 1950s.  The same houses still stand (most of them) and aside from the erosion changes (and the lighthouse being moved off the beach into a preservation area) little has changed.  You can still walk on the beach in the middle of summer, and sometimes have a whole huge section of beach all to yourself.  There are not many places that special.

Contrary to what people may think, I will not miss the house.  I came to terms with the decision many months ago.  It holds recent unhappy memories for me because of the difficulties I experienced this past year; and the last time Gil and Hobie were there, they were both very, very ill.  It's hard for me to be at the house without remembering those awful days.  On the flip side, it holds some great memories, too.

Moon over Atlantic Ocean

Sunrise in Eastham

The neighborhood fox.

Nauset Lighthouse at Christmas-time.
At the cottage, we witnessed some fantastical thunderstorms, sunsets, sunrises, wildlife, too many tourists, and the ever-present lighthouse, a constant source of comfort as her red and white lights swooped over the house and cut through the fog.

G and H on their last visit to the cottage.  Thankful that I thought of taking a photo.

I will miss the beach terribly, and especially "my" seals.  I always felt that the seals were "walking" (swimming) with me, just like dogs.  More than 60 seals put on a show for me a few weeks ago that was simply spectacular.  And I truly feel that they swam, jumped and played just for me that day.

Tell me seals don't look like dogs!

Charlie will never again sit along the fence and bark at people visiting the Lighthouse (hah, maybe that's a good thing!).

The neighbors nicknamed him "Kujo" LOL! (all in fun, I assure you)

While we spent a lot of time at the cottage itself, Cooper only went to the beach a handful of times (because of the challenge of walking in the heat).  :(

Coop on the beach!

Editor's Edit:  I am ashamed I didn't mention Hector...he and Hobie spent so many years with me on the Cape.  I miss him so much.

Hector in his preferred sleeping position, on the couch at the cottage! 

The beaches of the National Seashore are my spiritual place.  My version of church, if you will.  You don't live in church.  You visit church.  And so, that's what I will be doing.  I guess I will see (once again), what it is like to be a tourist.  Maybe I'll even retire there some day, which was the original plan.  Until then, I wish the new occupants well, and hope they have many wonderful days and weeks and years in Eastham.  It is their turn now.

Hard to choose my favorite sunrise or sunset photo.... each one is more beautiful than the next.
You really can go home again.  I did it once before, and hopefully I'll do it again some day.  I've always said I'm a fair-weather friend to Cape Cod.  I'm thankful to the universe for giving me such a unique experience, I will never, ever forget.  Until we meet again.

(Photos by K.S. Mueller.  All photos in this blog post are the property of K.S. Mueller) 


Hear the ocean roar from this pet-friendly vintage 1950s vacation cottage located at the entrance to Cape Cod National Seashore in beautiful Eastham, Massachusetts.  The iconic Nauset Lighthouse is literally in our back yard.  

Hobie walking on the dead-end road by our house.
This photo was taken by me, standing in my back yard.


Three bedrooms (two upstairs, one downstairs) 
Master bedroom has ceiling fan
1 1/2 baths (shower - no tub) 
Two outdoor showers - one piped into house with hot water; the other vintage holding tank  
Fully-fenced, escape-proof yard for pets
Steps from Nauset Lighthouse 
Nauset Light beach across the street
Three Sisters Lighthouse 1/8 mile away
Coast Guard Beach one mile away 
Easy bike ride to Eastham center and bike trails 
Satellite TV and internet 
Washer/dryer on premises
His and her bicycles on premises
Lawn furniture and picnic table on premises
Window air-conditioner in main living area
Located on safe dead-end road, some traffic due to lighthouse



click on photos for expanded view

Spacious, dog-friendly yard


Master bedroom - queen-size bed on ground floor

Vintage 1950s galley kitchen - all appliances fully functioning

Open-concept living area with slider to fenced-in yard; satellite TV and internet with wi-fi.
(Please note, fireplace is currently out of order due to severe storm damage)

Left:  Ground-floor full bath with shower only       Right:  upstairs half-bath

Not pictured (but coming soon!): Two bedrooms upstairs

Outdoor view of the house (above) from the dead-end road.



The famous Nauset Light Beach is just steps away!

View of the cottage from Nauset Light Beach (zoomed in)

View of Nauset Light Beach and the ocean from upstairs bedroom
View of Nauset Light Beach Parking lot from house

Pet-safe fence surrounds the property which is adjacent to Nauset Lighthouse

More pics!!